If you are a fan of spinach artichoke dip, then you are going to LOVE this 30-mimute Vegan Spinach Artichoke Pasta with a vegan basil cream sauce! Italian ingredients make this creamy artichoke pasta the best dairy-free & vegan pasta recipe.
*Recipe shared July 2020 and updated April 2022*
There is something so wonderful about the combination of briny artichokes, robust spinach, and a creamy basil sauce. Like most of my vegan pasta recipes, this vegetarian spinach artichoke pasta recipe is incredibly easy to make and takes only 30 minutes to whip up!
- Spaghetti: I used Whole wheat spaghetti for this recipe, but you can use any noodle of your choosing including gluten-free pasta to make this vegan artichoke pasta gluten-free.
- Oat milk: can be substituted 1:1 for any plant-based milk like almond, soy, or coconut.
- Pine nuts: Can be substituted for pumpkin seeds/pepitas to make this sauce entirely nut-free. Pine nuts give it a more authentic basil pesto flavor, but either way, it's delicious!
How to make vegan spinach artichoke pasta
Cook the pasta & chop the veggies
The first step to making this vegan artichoke pasta is to cook the pasta according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, chop and prep the veggies and make the vegan basil cream sauce!
Prep the basil cream sauce
This basil cream sauce is very similar to a vegan pesto in terms of flavor, but it is not as thick as a traditional pesto would be.
Luckily, making this vegan basil sauce couldn't be easier. Simply add all the ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. The sauce will seem a little thin at this point, but don't worry- that's okay!
Once the sauce gets added to the pan and cooks, the cornstarch plus the starch from the pasta will help to thicken the sauce significantly.
Cook the vegetables
Add the minced garlic, chopped shallot, and olive oil to a pan. Turn on the heat and sauté for 5 minutes until the garlic and shallots have become translucent and are beginning to brown.
Then, add in the strained and rinsed artichoke hearts, chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
Since the canned artichokes will be wet, it is important to pat them dry before adding to the pan. Otherwise, the oil will spatter when mixed with water.
You can chop the artichoke hearts in half or keep them whole for this recipe. Once the artichokes are in the pan, cook everything for about 5 more minutes.
Next, add the fresh spinach and sauté with the veggies. The pan will seem really full at this point, but the spinach will wilt quite a bit once cooked. Honestly, the spinach only needs about 1-2 minutes of cooking time so don't overcook it!
Add vegan basil sauce & pasta
To finish, add in the dairy-free basil cream sauce, cooked whole-wheat spaghetti, and mix everything together. Then, cook the spinach artichoke pasta over low heat for 2-5 more minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
*Make sure to cook the sauce until it is thick. The sauce will start out thin and thicken once the cornstarch has been thoroughly heated*
As a final step, top this vegan spinach artichoke pasta with optional toasted pine nuts. Then, serve and enjoy while still warm!
FAQ & Substitutions:
Is there a good substitute for cornstarch?
Not really. Unfortunately, a lot of substitutes like arrowroot powder or tapioca starch give cooked sauces more of a "gel" consistency vs. the creamy smooth sauce we are looking for.
If you are okay with a slightly thinner sauce and can't find cornstarch, you can omit it in this recipe. All the flavors of the basil cream sauce will still be there!
Can I make spinach artichoke pasta gluten-free?
Yes! While I choose to make this with whole wheat spaghetti, just sub in any gluten-free pasta 1:1 for an entirely gluten-free dish. The sauce and pasta toppings are all naturally gluten-free.
How do I store spinach artichoke pasta?
Leftover pasta can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
I truly hope you love this Vegan Spinach Artichoke Pasta with creamy vegan basil sauce. It's one of my go-to Spring pasta recipes, especially since it only takes 30 minutes to whip up. Enjoy!
More vegan & vegetarian pasta recipes you will love:
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Vegan Spinach Artichoke Pasta
Basil cream sauce:
- 8 ounces dried pasta I used Anna organic whole wheat spaghetti
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 cans cooked canned artichoke strained, rinsed, cut in half, and patted dry
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- salt & pepper to taste season to your preference
- 5 cups spinach loosely packed
- 2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts optional, as a garnish
- Fresh basil optional, as garnish
- First, cook the pasta, strain, and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, make the basil cream sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Set the sauce aside for later.
- Next, add the olive oil to a pan and turn on the heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the minced garlic and chopped shallot. Sauté 3-5 minutes until translucent and beginning to brown. Then, add in the artichokes and sauté with the onions and garlic for another 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach to the pan of vegetables, mix in, and cook with the vegetables for an additional 1-2 minutes until the spinach begins to wilt. Then, pour in the basil cream sauce and cooked pasta and cook everything together for another 2-5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. *You have to cook the sauce for it to thicken, so please cook until it's thick*.
- Remove the pasta from the heat, serve, and top with additional toasted pine nuts and fresh basil. Enjoy!
- -Leftovers can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month.
- There isn't a great substitute for cornstarch, but you could try arrowroot powder or substitute it for 2 tablespoons of flour.
- To make this dish gluten-free just substitute the whole wheat spaghetti with gluten-free noodles.
- If using fresh artichokes, they must be cooked before using in this recipe.